A new analysis from Time magazine found that 60 percent of the 2016 Super Bowl spots that aired nationally featured no women in speaking roles. The analysis noted that 24 percent of the commercials had no women at all compared with just 5 percent that were without men. And the lion's share of directors were men.
Historically, Super Bowl commercials featuring women have frequently objectified them. And we're not talking ancient history—GoDaddy, a frequent Super Bowl advertiser who sat out this year's game, was regularly ripped for its ads that many believed to be sexist. Last year, for instance, GoDaddy's Super Bowl commercial featured model Bar Rafaeli as the company's "sexy side" and a nerdy young man as its "smart side," who make out. Predictably, the ad drew a wave of backlash online.
GoDaddy is by no means the only offender on Super Bowl Sunday. The Huffington Post rounded up some of the most sexists Super Bowl ads in recent years, including this 2012 spot from Carl's Jr.
Ahead of this year's Super Bowl, NARAL Pro-Choice America, an advocacy group around abortion, called out Hyundai's "First Date" commercial because it shows a dad following his daughter on a first date—an ad many Americans thought was the best of the bunch.
Of course, Super Bowl 50 also included some ads that drew praise for their portrayal of women. NARAL celebrated Michelob Ultra's ad "Breathe."
And a number of crowd favorites featured women in prominent roles, including Bud Light's spot with Amy Schumer. A powerful public service announcement aired aiming to raise awareness around domestic violence.
A recent viral video called #WomenNotObjects takes aim at the advertising industry's practices. In response to the video, a representative from Carl's Jr.'s parent company, CKE Restaurants, told Advertising Age. "The women in our award-winning ads are intelligent, talented and beautiful professional actresses and models who often reach out to us and voice their interest in being part of our fun, iconic ads."
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